On May 12, 2017, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy David “Lee” Baca was sentenced to three years in federal prison for his involvement in obstructing an FBI investigation. The FBI had been conducting an investigation into abuses in county jails such as deputies beating inmates and corruption issues in which deputies would take bribes in exchange for bringing in contraband for inmates. Baca is currently 74 years old and is suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Baca was portrayed as a man that was only worried about maintaining control of the Sheriff’s Department and his own reputation. Acting U.S. Atty. Sandra R. Brown stated,
Rather than fulfill his sworn duty to uphold the law and protect the public, Lee Baca made a decision to protect what he viewed as his empire, and then he took actions in an effort to simply protect himself. He wore the badge, but ultimately, he failed the department and the public’s trust.
There has been no decision about where Baca will serve his sentence, but he was ordered to surrender to federal prison by July 25th. What ultimately saved Baca from serving 41 to 51 months in prison, based on federal sentencing guidelines, was his age and Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
This hopefully puts an end to the corruption scandal that has plagued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for several years.
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